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1781. at the altar, and implore the God of mercy to suspend
his vengeance, to spare them in his wrath, to inspire them with sentiments of justice and moderation, to terminate their obstinacy, and error, and to ordain that your victories be followed by peace and tranquillity. Let us beseech him to continue to shed on the coun. cils of the king your ally, that spirit of wisdom, of juftice and of courage, which has rendered his reign so glorious. Let us entreat him to maintain in each of the states that intelligence by which the United States are inspired. Let us return him thanks, that a faction whose rebellion he has corrected, now deprived of support, is annihilated. Let us offer him pure hearts, unfoiled by private hatred or public diffenfion; and let us with one will and one voice, pour forth to the Lord that hymn of praise, by which christians celebrate their gratitude and his glory.”
The most important books and papers of congress engaged at length the attention of the enemy. A scheme was concerted for carrying them off. Lieut. Moody, who had been so successful in taking the American mails, was employed. He remained on the Jersey side of the Délaware, while his brother John Moody, and another or two repaired to Philadelphia. Before they could execute the business intrusted to them, a discovery took place; and some of them were seized. Parties were sent acrofs the Delaware to secure the lieutenant; but he eluded all their exertions, and escaped in an extraordinary manner.
His brother and a fellow foldier were brought before a board of officers, at which the marquis, de la Fayette presided, and were indulged with a canäd and full hearing. An opinion of the officers being
reported to the board of war, and approved, they were 1781.
On the 23d of November they refolved, " That ma- Nov.
1781. by consulting with and employing the asistance of the
marquis de la Fayette, in accelerating the supplies which may be afforded by his most christian majesty for the use of the United States :-That the superintendant of finance, the secretary for foreign affairs, and the board of war, make fuch communications to the marquis de la Fayette, touching the affairs of their respective departments, as will best enable him to fulfil the purpose of the two resolutions immediately preceding :- That the superintendant of finance take order for discharging the engagement entered into by the marquis de la Fayette with the merchants of Baltimore"-when he borrowed money of them on his own credit, for supplying his troops with necessaries. .
General Washington attended congress according to 28. order, and being introduced by two members, the pre
fident addressed him as follows" Sir, congress at all times happy in seeing your excellency, feel particular pleasure in your presence at this time, after the glorious success of the allied arms in Virginia. It is their fixed purpose to draw every advantage from it by exhorting the states in the strongest terms, to the most vigorous and timely exertions. A committee has accordingly been appointed to state the requisitions necessary to be made for the establishment of the army, and they are instructed to confer with you upon that subject. It is therefore the expectation of congress, that your excelJency would remain for some time in Philadelphia, that they may avail themselves of your aid in this important business, and that you may enjoy a respite from the fatigues of war, as far as is consistent with the fervice.” To which his excellency made the following reply
« Mr. President, I feel very sensibly the favorable de- 1986. claration of congress expressed by your excellency. This fresh proof of their approbation cannot fail of making a deep impression upon me, and my study shall be to deserve a continuance of it. It is with peculiar pleasure I hear that it is the fixed purpose of congress to exhort the states to the most vigorous and timely exertions: a compliance on their parts will, I persuade myself, be productive of the most happy consequences.-I shall yield a ready obedience to the expectation of congress, and give every assistance in my power to their committee. I am obliged by the goodness of congress in making my personal ease and convenience a part of their con
Should the service require my attendance with the army upon the North river or elsewhere, I shall repair to whatever place my duty calls, with the same pleasure that I remain in this city.” On the last day of the year congress agreed to An ordinance to incorporate the subscribers to the bank of North America.
A few days before, gen. Washington wrotem". The whole business of prisoners of war brought under one regulation, might probably put a stop to those mutual complaints of ill treatment which are frequently urged on either part. For it is a fact, that for above two years we have had no reason to complain of the treatment of the continental land prisoners in New York, neither have we been charged with any improper conduct toward those in our hands. I consider the sufferings of the seamen for some time past as arising in a great measure from the want-of that general regulation, and without which there will be constantly a great number remaining in the hands of the enemy.--I know of no method fo VOL. IV.
1781.likely to put an end to the mutual complaints on both
sides, as that of having all prisoners given up to the
In this letter there is an allusion to an improper con-
The chief of what the American contractor had procured for their supply was such as they could not eat.
The British commanding officer at length made his complaint, and obtained leave to have it surveyed, when it was condemned in general. The American quarter masters were, upon that, obliged to go all over Virginia in search of salt provisions, the want of which was such, at one time, that the prisoners had six weeks meat due to them. On this an addition of one half more was made to the allowance of Indian meal, and the troops lived upon meal and water. When afterward removed to Frederick-town in Maryland, they complained of meeting with much ill usage, and of being badly supplied with provisions and almost half ftarved. This treatment made the men defert in great numbers. Instances of improper conduct toward other prisoners undoubtedly existed. But the general treatment of them was good; and, wherein it was otherwise, fell fo short of what the British practised toward the Americans, that the former frequently declared of the latter, that notwithstanding all their threats, they were afraid to retaliate.
The British power in Georgia being too weak to prevent it, there has been a complete re-establishment of American government. The general assembly was con